Located in the Walla Walla Valley appellation of Washington State, Woodward Canyon Winery was started in 1981 by Rick Small and his wife, Darcey Fugman-Small. Woodward Canyon produces almost a dozen different wines, and their Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon and Reserve Chardonnay are some of the very best examples of those varietals produced in Washington State.
Violet in color with some bricking on the edge of the glass. 14.4% ABV. Red fruits, cassis and tobacco on a somewhat muted nose. Full bodied and plush with medium acidity. Toasty oak, mint, cherries and plums on the palate. The finish is long and spicy. The toasty vanilla oak is a little much at this point. I will hold back on opening other bottles for a couple years to see if the oak subsides and the fruit becomes more pronounced.
My rating: 89 points.
The reds from Woodward Canyon typically age as gracefully as anything produced in Washington.
The current vintage is widely available at retail, at the winery and via the mailing list for right around $80. The Artists Series Cabernet is a more affordable but still delicious alternative for about $45.
The winery is also a great first stop as you head into the Walla Walla wine country!
I wrote about Rick Small previously in The Washington Wine Hall of Fame.
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